It’s hot on the BSR farm in Forckenbeckstraße and the smell of organic waste greets you. Between the garbage cans and the BSR vehicles are information tables with flyers on them with the typically witty BSR slogans: “Do you also dream of the ascent to the garbage can?”

On Saturday, women looking for a job at the BSR-Hof in Wilmersdorf were able to find out about the job of garbage workers and try out barrel pulling for themselves. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., employees in bright orange T-shirts provided information about the professional field, work clothes, application requirements and the working atmosphere especially for women at BSR.

The event is part of the BSR women’s advancement plan. “The advancement of women is not only ‘nice’ and a question of justice, but a profitable investment for our company,” it says. The proportion of women throughout the company was constant at 18 percent from 2018 to 2020.

At the beginning of the taster day at 9 a.m., a number of interested people showed up. The information and try-out stations are mostly staffed by men, but some employees are also available at the try-out stations and information stands to answer questions. Sophia G. and Larissa P. are interested in working at BSR and became aware of the event via Instagram. The two are currently completing their training in retail and would like to reorient themselves.

“I find the job of garbage collector very appealing. You do something good for the city, something that makes sense,” says Sophia G. You work in the fresh air, you are flexible and the salary in the public sector is significantly better than working in retail. The starting salary as a garbage worker is exactly 3133.57 euros per month.

Above all, the two like the teamwork at BSR – that’s why they want to find out how women are accepted and treated in the team at the taster day. “I have the impression that at the beginning you have to fight your way through and somehow prove yourself,” says Sophia G. “You have to be willing to lend a hand. But I get along with everyone. Then you find the people who are a good match.” Her guess is confirmed at the information stand. There is a “warm but rough tone” among the garbage workers – you have to be able to deal with that.

The selection process for the garbage worker job consists of a 15-minute interview and a three-hour fitness test. Endurance, strength and dexterity exercises must be successfully completed here – regardless of gender. A prerequisite for the job is not only very good physical fitness, but also a customer-friendly demeanor.

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Because the tasks of the garbage workers include not only physical activities, but also representing the BSR in public. “The streets are getting fuller and the psychological burden on garbage collectors has changed,” says the information stand. There are sometimes unpleasant comments from citizens that you have to deal with.

In such cases, it is important to behave calmly and considerately as a garbage worker. Applications for the job at BSR can be submitted online in September.